If you are anything like me, then you like to shop around. I actually have a notebook that I take along to the stores. I have it labeled: Costco and the Co-op*. Then I come home and compare to my online lists: Thrive Market and Amazon.
Yeah, it sounds like a lot of work, but once you figure out the best savings, it does not tend to vary too much. Plus it makes shopping so much easier to know exactly what to get at which store. I am particularly fond of finding the best prices at the online stores. Three kids in a giant shopping cart is no party. Free shipping to your doorstep is an excuse to pop the bubblies! Motherhood made me do it.
So, I wanted to put together a list of how to save money on back to school essentials that I shopped around for. I was given a list by our kiddos teachers and wanted to find the best deals, and the healthiest versions of these items as well!
We do a combination of private Catholic school and homeschool, so I am covering all of our bases in this post.
*Note: I have to be honest, our co-op usually has the highest prices, so I reserve that for very specific items and I am leaving this store out of my comparison today for that reason. Also, Costco does not have a lot of the specialty stuff so I listed that as not available for those categories.
How to Save Money on Back to School Essentials
Let’s start with the necessities that I need for my youngest (22 months)
Seventh Generation Diapers (chlorine free, 20-count):
Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Balm (I use this stuff for everything, it’s magical!):
- Thrive: $8.95
- Amazon: $8.99 – $15.79
- Costco: they have a Baby Spa 3-Pack for $22.00 (looks like it’s pretty clean too!)
Re-Play Divided Plate Set:
Green Sprouts Sippy Cup:
Green Sprouts Snack Cups:
Now let’s move on to my homeschooled 5-year-old and my 1st grade 6-year-old (school supplies)
Crocodile Creek Lunchboxes (my daughter has the butterfly one and loves it!):
Crocodile Creek Sandwich Keeper:
Crocodile Creek Drinking Bottle (stainless steel):
Lunchskins Reusable Snack Bags (for little lunch boxes or for when you are on the go with littles):
Jumbo Crayons (12-count)
Let’s keep our kiddos healthy by PREVENTING sickness!
Gaia Herbs Elderberry Syrup (or, you can make your own using my recipe)
Yummy Bears Kids Whole Food Multivitamin (90-count):
Bach Rescue Remedy Spray (if you don’t have this, then read up on it!)
Lara Bars (16 bars):
- Thrive: $18.95
- Amazon: $16.00 – $20.00
- Costco: we just discovered Lara Bars at our Costco and now I need to go check the price, stay tuned…
Happy Baby Happy Puffs (we get the gluten free one, they work well for church!)
Krave Beef and Pork Jerky:
Earth’s Best Organic Applesauce (6-pack)
- Thrive: $3.45
- Amazon: $9.90
- Costco: we buy organic applesauce here, the price is really low (I can’t find it online)
Laughing Giraffe Chocolate Snakaroons (these are a special treat, hide them!)
Okay, I could go on all day with my list of goodies, but there is a definite trend here. Thrive has won out on MOST of the items on my list! They continue to get more stuff every day too, and they are always giving away freebies with your order (like every day something new for free!). But, I still think that if you need to buy a LOT of healthy food for a large family, take the family truckster to Costso and get yo self a BIG cart. We buy all of our perishable food at Costco, and pretty much all of our packaged items from Amazon. Hey, I was shocked too! I am a Prime addict, ahem, I WAS a Prime addict. I think they skew the prices a bit to make you believe you are getting the best deal.
The moral of the story is: shop around, make a list, and check out Thrive Market. We love it! I hope after reading this post you learned how to save money on back to school essentials!
Missing an item on the list? Comment about it below and I will find you the best price!
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Note: The prices on Amazon may vary, as they change over time from the time I am writing this post